In defence of modest anti-luck epistemology

Duncan Pritchard

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50 Citations (Scopus)


ANTI-LUCK EPISTEMOLOGY Most epistemologists would accept that knowledge excludes luck in the specific sense that if one knows then it is not a matter of luck that one’s belief is true. Call this the anti-luck intuition. There is a certain kind of epistemological project – which I have christened anti-luck epistemology – which takes this intuition as central to our understanding of knowledge. Essentially, the idea is that once we identify which epistemic condition can satisfy the anti-luck intuition (call this the anti-luck condition), then we will have thereby identified a key component in a theory of knowledge. Central to this enterprise, as I explain below, is to gain a proper understanding of the nature of luck itself. We can distinguish between two forms of anti-luck epistemology. According to robust anti-luck epistemology, knowledge is nothing more than true belief that satisfies the anti-luck condition. According to modest anti-luck epistemology, in contrast, the anti-luck condition is merely a key necessary condition for knowledge, but it is not sufficient (with true belief) for knowledge. In what follows I will be offering a defence of modest anti-luck epistemology. SAFETY VERSUS SENSITIVITY There are two competing ways of understanding the anti-luck condition in the contemporary literature.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe sensitivity principle in epistemology
EditorsKelly Becker, Tim Black
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780511783630
ISBN (Print)9781107004238
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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